Optifine is one of the best performance enhancement mods for Minecraft. The mod has a massive following, and for the right reasons. Not only does it allow players to access advanced graphical settings, but it also allows them to use shaders without installing any third-party mods such as Forge.
Minecraft's base version is quite bland compared to what players can achieve with Optifine. It improves several aspects of the game and drastically enhances gameplay performance. Despite not looking visually as pleasing as newer games, Minecraft is still a resource-intensive game due to all the sandbox open-world real-time rendering.
This article covers everything you need to know about installing Optifine with optimal settings for the best performance. Note that the installation method will be the same for all future versions of Minecraft unless stated otherwise.
Installing Optifine is as easy as running an executable mod file. First, download the mod executable .jar for your version of Minecraft from the official Optifine website.
Once downloaded, run the file and simply follow the on-screen instructions to install it. You don't need to change anything except ensure that the installation path is set to C:\Users\YOURPCNAME\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft.
Now Optifine is installed. However, to ensure you run Minecraft with Optifine, you must select it from the official Minecraft launcher before hitting the 'Play' button.
You can tell you are in a modded Minecraft by looking at the bottom-left corner of your in-game main menu screen.
Optimal Optifine Settings
After launching the game, you can access the Optifine settings by navigating to Options > Video Settings. When you open the Video Settings, you will notice that you have a lot more options at your disposal, ready to be tweaked.
And if you click on Details, you will find many more options you can change. All these options allow you to change as per your system requirements to get the best performance with the maximum possible FPS your system can output.
It is best to familiarise yourself with very commonly used words when dealing with the video settings of Minecraft. These words are Fast and Fancy. Fast means 'Normal' graphics quality, while Fancy is another word for 'High' quality.
You also have a 'Fabulous!' option, only available on supported rigs. It is essentially 'Ultra' video quality.
If you want your Minecraft to run smoothly, copy the following settings:
- Graphics: Fast
- Render Distance: 8-16
- Smooth Lighting: OFF
- Simulation Distance: 12
- Dynamic Lighting: OFF or Fast
- Max Framerate: Unlimited or VSync
- Entity Shadows: ON
Render Distance can be increased depending on how much RAM you have allocated for Minecraft. You can go up to 24, depending on your RAM. Remember, changing these settings won't affect servers. It is only for your single-player worlds, as the server distances are controlled by the hosts.
Simulation distance is usually the same as your Render Distance, but you can turn it down a notch if you feel it is stressing your CPU out. Dynamic Lighting is OFF by default, and keeping it off is best. It allows your light-emitting objects to emit light on objects around you in real time. This is quite resource-heavy and best left OFF. You can push it up to 'Fast,' which still emits the light on the objects but with a 500ms delay.
Max Framerate can be set to unlimited, but if you're experiencing screen tearing, bring it down to 60 FPS or choose VSync to match it with your monitor's screen refresh rate. Entity Shadows should always stay on. Turning this option off removes all shadows from the objects and mobs, which makes your game look weird.
If you open up the Details section, you will find more options where you have control over most of the resource-heavy aspects of the game, such as clouds, weather, trees, fog, and more. This is where you can change the options to get the most FPS. Copy the following settings:
- Clouds: Fast
- Trees: Fast
- Sky: ON
- Sun & Moon: ON
- Fog: Fast
- View Bobbing: ON
- Autosave Indicator: ON
- Vignette: Default
- Entity Distance: 100%
- Clouds Height: OFF
- Rain & Snow: Fast
- Stars: ON
- Show Capes: ON
- Fog Start: Leave it as it is by default (0.8)
- Held Item Tooltips: ON
- Swamp Colors: ON
- Alternate Blocks: ON
- Biome Blend: 5x5 (Normal)
In animations, you usually want everything to be ON. Still, when visiting the Nether, you can always turn down some of the animations that may utilize more of your RAM and CPU, such as Fire, Lava, and Flame animations. But this is only if you're in absolute need of FPS. I personally wouldn't recommend turning any of the animations down.
Quality settings should also be left at default, but you can change 'Connected Textures' to Fast.
This is where the bulk of the FPS increase comes from. You can gain a massive performance boost by copying the following settings:
- Render Regions: ON
- Smart Animations: ON
- Smooth FPS: OFF
- Chunk Updates: 1
- Lazy Chunk Loading: ON
- Fast Render: ON
- Fast Math: ON
- Smooth World: ON
- Dynamic Updates: OFF
- Chunk Builder: Threaded
You can leave Smooth FPS off unless you are experiencing FPS fluctuations. Turning on Smooth FPS will stabilize your FPS.
You also have a Shaders option with Optifine, which allows you to install Shaders easily and without needing to install Forge mod. Optifine contains BSL Shaders by default, but we advise against using Shaders if you do not have a powerful enough rig. If you have a high-end PC and are willing to explore the additional graphics enhancements that come with the shaders, check out our guide on how to install Shaders using Optifine.